Sonoma, CA. -- Kevin Harvick made his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West return and he delivered.
The Bakersfield, California, native dominated the Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway. Harvick held off hard-charging Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender in Will Rodgers, while the rest of the field was more than nine seconds back.
Harvick won the 1998 West championship on his way up the NASCAR ladder, which culminated in winning the 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. He drove the No. 4 Fields Ford for Jefferson Pitts Racing to his eighth victory of his career in the K&N Pro West Series.
"It always feels good to win no matter what it is," said Harvick. "The main objective was to come have fun, shine a little light on the series and shine a little light on how much talent is in the series. This particular series did a lot for me and to come back and be a part of it, see the health of it and see the young guys racing was the main objective.
"It's always fun to race in front of your home state fans. It's been a long time since I raced in this particular series here, so it was a fun weekend."
Rodgers, a 22-year-old from Murrieta, California, won his first Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day and brought his No. 7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford home in second place, his best finish of his 14 K&N Pro Series West starts.
"For some funny reason, I had a feeling as far back as four weeks ago that it was going to be me and Kevin coming into turn 11 on the last lap," Rodgers said. "And sure enough, there we were. He ran a really good race, I learned a lot from him. We were able to lead some laps there in the beginning. It doesn’t feel too bad to finish second today."
David Mayhew came home in third, followed by Michael Self and Derek Kraus in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Championship points leader Todd Gilliland, Blaine Perkins, Todd Souza, Sheldon Creed, Chris Eggleston and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver Daniel Suarez rounded out the top 10.
Gilliland leads Eggleston by 11 points. Kraus is third (56 behind Gilliland), while Rodgers is 12 points back of Kraus in fourth.
The Carneros 200 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, June 29 at 11 p.m. ET.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will return to the track on July 28 for the annual combination race with the K&N Pro East at Iowa Speedway.
NASCAR IMC Press Release. Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR